Going Back…

This weekend I’m taking a little trip down memory lane. Just a small jaunt, mind you.

You see…

My high school is having their 100-year anniversary this weekend, so it’s supposed to be some kind of big blowout weekend all-school reunion.

(Blink too long driving down the highway, and you’ve missed it…I don’t think it’s a whole lot bigger than this photo above suggests)

I’m not going to make a weekend out of it, but I am going to stop in and take a gander at a couple of things that interest me.

First and foremost… There is going to be a gentleman there who wrote an autobiography about his life, part of which took place in my hometown, so he’s going to be signing books at the city hall for part of the time. He used my blog post about Dr. Hordinsky in his book, so I’d like to meet him, face to face, and shake his hand. Talk to him a little & let him know that I did actually read his book and enjoyed it, even the stuff I didn’t write!

I’d also like to stop in at the school & see the shadow box my dad built that now houses one of my sculptures. He asked me to make him a sculpture of Horton the Elephant to go with a copy of the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hatches an Egg, which has the name of my hometown in it. 

Here’s the sculpture, but I’d like a picture of the finished product!

So, this shindig kicks off on Friday…but, that’s the busiest day of the month for my business, & we’re going to swamped that day, so there’s zero chance of getting that day off. Plus, by the time I get off work…I’m going to be completely brain-fried…

So, I’m going down on Saturday. I figure that’ll give me time to see what I want to see, do what I want to do, and skedaddle out of there before any shenanigans get too crazy. 

…I…don’t have a lot of really fond memories from high school. It was pretty much hell for me there, and I escaped to other towns as often as possible…so, it’s not like this is abnormal behavior to me.

I’ll be in and out like lightning…maybe a couple small scorch marks left behind…no big…

So if Sunday’s paper reads “Lightning Strikes Small Town North Dakota”… 

It wasn’t me…I was home all night…I swear…just ask the cat…

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Fearless #FamChallenge

Beloved Nephew and I are doing a writing challenge for a little while, to get the creative forces moving. This is my first installment.

*******************†********************

I’ve found myself wishing lately that I could live my life fearlessly, as I used to be able to…

To not have to worry about things constantly, to feel the constriction of anxiety wrapping itself around my chest and throat.

To be able to simply get up and go when I want to, where I want to, without fretting about how I’m going to get there, is it going to be crowded and dangerous, will I get lost, what if something does happen, then what?

I used to be able to live like that.

I sit here, shaking my head and ruefully laughing under my breath, remembering how crazy it seems now…

On a whim, I would pack up my daughters, toss overnight bags in my car, and we would drive 12 hours to Iowa.

Yes, on a whim.

We would make pit stops at the various “scenic stops” along the way, play, take pictures, get out of the car for a few minutes, chase each other around like hooligans…then back into the car, and down the road we’d go.

We always stayed with family at the other end, even if it was on a couch, or in a sleeping bag on the floor, but it didn’t matter to me, or to the girls, we all loved the away time, & getting to see Gramma, the aunts, uncles & cousins.

Visiting, I called it.

Escaping…is a little more accurate.

Luckily, gas was much cheaper back then, & my girls were happy little travelers, loving our “road trips”.  They ate healthy food from relatives with as much gusto as the junk food from gas stations. And would help clean up any mess they made with our stay before we left again.

Irresponsible, some would call it.

Free-spirited, others would say.

Young…is the terminology I use.

But, I’m not so young, anymore.

Still… I live alone now… And my weekends belong to just me once again. 

Maybe I need to “plan” a Fearless Weekend… And get the Hell out of Dodge.

Get in my pickup, pack an overnight bag, and drive…somewhere…other than here.

Hmm…

*wanders off humming to self and grinning from ear to ear*

Empty the Nest?

How long do I tend the nest for a child who has already flown?

Here I sit, feeling like the worst mother in the world, right now. Tears pooling in my eyes as I type this, because I told OnlySon that I am planning on leaving North Dakota in a year, and he’s angry, albeit trying not to show it. 

He wants everything to remain the same forever, but that can’t happen. Life stagnates if left to sit too long with no forward motion.

And I have been sitting still for many years now, waiting for something to change.

I’m not happy here, anymore.

Too many heartaches and heartbreaks.

Not enough reasons to look forward to getting out of bed every morning.

So, why should I stay?

For a son who has moved in with his father & is now going to be starting a new life of his own, getting a job, being busy with that & dropping by when he needs a shower or to pick up something else I’m storing in my basement or his bedroom?

For a job, which, yes, I enjoy my work – but, let’s face facts, isn’t a life?

Let’s see… Hmm…

What else does North Dakota have to offer me?

Two ex- husbands, one within city limits, and the other an hour away… No, that’s OK.

I’ll pass.

No one has been able to come up with a compelling, or even logical, reason why I should stay beyond my timeline.

I can’t live for my children’s benefit forever. There comes a time when they have to spread their own wings and leave the nest.

This is the way of life.

Why should I stay?

Tell me. When I feel as though there’s nothing left here for me…

Why?

Vintage Poetry #2

After dealing with a migraine today, it’s time for me to pass on some of the love.

Cue the old poetry…

Mirror Image 

You sit there

Talking to me

But I don’t hear what

You’re saying

I’m looking 

In your eyes

Seeing my own pain

Reflected there

You’re telling me

Something about

How you never promised me

A rose garden

I never

Asked for one

All I wanted

Was that you

Be honest

With me

Tell me what

You feel

I’ll understand

I

Won’t break

I promise.

*funny how present life seems to imitate the past, ain’t it?*

One Tear for Me

Just cry one tear for me

Then I’ll be on my way

Please tell me that you loved me

At least you did one day

It matters to me now

What you have to say

Even if it won’t

When I am old and gray

I could have loved you deeply

But you just walked away

Before I had a chance

To say what I had to say

So just cry one tear for me

My love

Then I’ll be on my way.

-4/8/87

*damnedest thing, how these still sound so familiar*

Mannequins

Here I stand

At the window

Looking in.

My hands pressed against

The glass

My breath making fog

On its surface.

Let me in, I say

I tap on the glass

But they don’t see

Or hear

Their backs are turned

And then, so is mine

I turn and see her

Standing there

With her hands pressed

Against the glass

As mine had been

I know that I

Am no longer alone.

We back away from the window

“They’re only mannequins”

She says

I noticed that too

We walk away together

Knowing that they are only

Window dressing

While we have the whole world

To ourselves.

-4/14/89

*this was for my best friend, who showed me how much bigger the world was, when all I saw was a small town*

*and here’s the last one I plan to publish here, as this has reminded me why I haven’t posted these before…*

Think of Me

Every time you see a happy child

Think of me

When you see something free and wild

Think of me

When you read a story

With a happy end

Or get a letter from

Your best friend

See my smiling face

Happy for you

Think of me.

When you’re lost and alone

And you want to go home

Think of me

If you’re sad or you’re blue

Know I’m thinking of you

When you see the sun come out…

Think of me.

-1/30/89

Fini

Things We Leave Behind

Remember when we all used to do the “beach drive”? Slow cruising, windows down, sunglasses on, music playing, so you could see, and be seen?  

The sun baking down on the grass of the hill, cars lined up, one after another, all the way back to the street they went. Up the hill, down the hill, around the curve, and back up. Yell at your friends, honk your horn, nod your head, or lift your index finger off the steering wheel to show you saw them, but were “too cool and laid back” to do a full wave.

Laughing at the antics of boaters & water skiers out on the water, ripping down the river, smashing into each other’s wakes, or lazily hanging over the edges of the boat, waiting for a beer, or a tan, or a fish. Or just waiting for the sun to bake off a hangover.

Remember that summer?

When main street was faster to walk down than it was to drive? When everyone was there…at least until the party place was decided.  Antelope Lake, The Point, Erickson’s, The Academy, places I would never be able to find in daylight, I could find in the dark…with a decent car, a cooler of beer, music to drive to, and the best friends to hang out with.

Walking on a beach in a miniskirt & high heels is never easy, you know, especially when drinking.

Oh, for a week, that I could go back to that summer…just to visit, to laugh like that again, so carefree and unfettered. To not have to think first, before I speak, to truly revel in every moment, as we did. To be that wild child that I was, again, just for a little while. 

How relaxing that would be.

Just for a week.

Because the beach is empty, now. No longer is main street the slow, languid crawl on Friday night, no longer are there dozens of cars, & dozens of dozens of people littering and loitering on the beach on Saturday, swimming, skiing, boating, baking, recovering & resting up for Saturday night’s raucous revving up.

Because I’m too old, now, for that kind of freedom. I’m a “responsible mature adult”, with a life built up from tearing down that girl.

The girl who laughed at everything.

The girl who fought when pushed.

The girl who loved hard, played hard, and ran hard.

She lives there still, that girl, on those beaches, dancing ’round those bonfires, running down those old, now quiet, streets.  She’s just a ghost, a shade, a shadow, but she’s there.  Footsteps etched into each piece of pavement, handprints along the walls of the shops lining main, laughter dancing through the trees, and in the lap of the waves at the river.

I left her behind- baking off her last, summer hangover.

Remember?

Overheard Just Now

Sitting and reading this evening, my grandson (who I babysit on the weekends while his Mama works) has been watching videos on his Mama’s ipad, and I overheard him as he made a stop in the bathroom.

(He’s 4, and has now been potty trained for about 6 months)

Music is heard playing from said ipad, & he is dancing as he leaves the bathrom…

“I poo’ed, I peed, I poo’ed and peed, and nothing can stop me now!” He sings in his little boy voice…

Pride of accomplishment in his song…